Stories for March 2004


Wednesday, March 31

County cuts may not be as significant

March 31 marked the date that two county jobs and three county services were to be eliminated to balance the 2004 budget. But more than three months after the Moffat County Board of Commissioners enacted them, the budget cuts have played out in unusual ways.

Clinics help younger volleyball players

Angie Charchalis and her eighth-grade teammates watched the high school volleyball team play several times this year. They were impressed. "I hope one day we can look like them," she said. "They're a lot better than we are."

Parks and Rec. gets ready for summer

This week, the spring and summer brochure for Craig Parks and Recreation should be arriving in mailboxes throughout Moffat County.

Hearing set for driver

Bond may be raised on man accused in Terrill's death

The Fremont County man accused of fatally injuring a Craig teenager in a hit-and-run accident in Canon City may have his bond raised from $20,000 to $100,000.

Pipeline holds promise

A proposal to construct a 330-mile natural gas pipeline through the heart of Moffat County has generated significant interest in the potential economic impacts, even though it is only in the beginning stages. Entrega Gas Pipeline Inc. plans to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct a pipeline to improve access to U.S. natural gas markets.

Hospital to set aside funds for new building

The Memorial Hospital will start setting aside nearly $60,000 a month to demonstrate its ability to pay the debt service on the proposed replacement hospital.

County offers suppport for jet flights

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to pledge $2,500 to guarantee major airline service from Texas to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Tuesday, March 30

Budget cuts affect road plans

Road department has only one capital project this summer

It could be awhile before the dust settles at the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department.

Ineffective offense

Plenty of errors, not a lot of action in 4-1 game against rivals

Five runs typically are on the board in a high school baseball game before the fans get comfortable in their seats. That wasn't the case in the sleeper between Moffat County and Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.

Novelty or nuisance?

Squirrel population booming in Craig; reactions mixed

The fox squirrels are native to hardwood forests, where they can feast on nuts and take shelter in broadleaf trees, Kistler said. No such sustenance exists in Northwest Colorado.

The lights are on, and everybody's home

Craig Station Power Plant workers have filled hotels, motels in the area

Vacancy? Not likely. With more than 500 workers here for the Craig Station Power Plant's environmental retrofit and outage project, it's getting hard to find a place to stay.

Bulldogs' defense costs them game, 5-0

Lori Smith thought her team was in good running shape going into the girls soccer season. She and the team are learning that being able to run sprints in practice isn't all it takes.

Nursing home renovations under way

Facility may begin accepting residents as early as August

Joy Daigle's father had been in Valley View Manor for only two days when the company that owned the nursing home announced it would be closing.

Quiet suits Maybell residents fine

But some are vocal about Moffat County politics

MAYBELL -- During hunting season, the Victory Hotel keeps a waiting list of visitors. Across the street, Maybell's park is filled with hastily pitched hunting camps. Dead deer and elk hang from the trees and swing sets. Hunting season is Maybell's boom time.

Sunday, March 28

Steamboat blasts Moffat County in soccer

The Steamboat Springs bench spent the final five minutes with its back turned to the field. The players couldn't bear to watch the game anymore. It was too painful.The wind was blowing snow -- or at times those annoying white pellets -- into the faces of both benches, so the Sailors turned around and huddled together.

More swimmers qualify for state

Team shines at Montrose meet

Jim Vorhies' plan for his boys swim team is progressing perfectly.The Moffat County High School team qualified the 400-meter freestyle relay team for state during the two-day meet at Montrose. The Bulldogs now have all three relays qualified.

Daily Press makes switch to morning publication

After more than a century of afternoon delivery, the Craig Daily Press is now your morning newspaper. Publisher Samantha Johnston said readers and advertisers stand to benefit from the new schedule, which will put fresh news in homes and on newsstands by 7 a.m.

Residents shocked by gas prices

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reached an all-time high of $1.75 on Saturday, and Northwest Colorado drivers are feeling the pain. "It's outrageous," said Ben Norris, a Moffat County High School junior. "I'm going to start riding my bike everywhere."

Doctor makes effort to live, eat healthy

Dr. Joel Miller of the Craig Medical Center watches what he eats. He has to as a competitive distance runner.For the last few years, the family physician has become accustomed to a rigorous exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

Fit for a queen

Hafey taking shot at winning Colorado Homecoming crown

When Ashlee Hafey found out she was a finalist to be Colorado's Home-coming Queen, the news came with mixed feelings. She would get to travel to Denver, spend a couple days at the Radisson Hotel, meet other homecoming queens from across the state, and get a chance to win a cash scholarship and a prestigious award.

Museum hopes to raise funds with 'Women' exhibit

Since discovering the art of digital photography, Karl Hoffman has delved into three subject matters that interest him immensely -- energy, Western landscapes, and women.

TMH enjoys healthy competition

Registered Nurse Dave Higgins of The Memorial Hospital is on a mission to eat a more balanced diet. Denise Jones, of the Human Resources Department, is exercising more regularly than ever before. And hospital administrator Randy Phelps is trying to live up to his personal goal of jogging three to four miles most days of the week.

Thursday, March 25

Vocalist to sing vintage songs

The Prudence Johnson Trio, featuring popular song vocalist Prudence Johnson, will perform at the Moffat County High School auditorium on Tuesday, March 30.

Web-learning on the rise at CNCC

Internet helps rural students meet educational goals

It may be the middle of the night or the end of the weekend but it doesn't stop Nicole Beckum from logging on and learning.

CIS principal resigns her post

Marth Paxton declines to say why

A principal of three years at Craig Intermediate School submitted her resignation recently to the Moffat County School District.

County institutes leadership training for employees

A police officer that doesn't feel well treated probably won't treat citizens well. By contrast, an officer who enjoys coming to work is likely to treat citizens kindly, with respect.

A lock on responsiblity

On September 15, 2001, a 3-year-old Spotsylvania County, Va., boy shot and killed himself with a gun his father brought to the house for protection in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Cast in Bronze

Spring tanners flock to local salons to prepare for summer sun

Beauty salons in Craig are teeming with tanning customers looking to get some color before summer arrives. The shops are filling to capacity, cashing in on the tanning season that peaks in the spring, slows down in the summer and drops off during winter.

Law enforcement targets gun safety by distributing free locks

Law enforcement agencies in Moffat County will soon get a shipment of gun locks to distribute free to the community.

Staff, parents offer input on school budget

School district uses survey results to determine needs, wants

Everyone has an opinion on how the local school district should spend money.

Saddle up

Rodeo team gears up for spring season

Every weekend that Brandon Whitaker leaves for a competition he never knows how many of his teammates will show up.

Hot spot

Local agencies prepare for a potentially busy fire season

Moffat County's first wildfire of the year burned up one-tenth of an acre near Juniper Hot Springs.

City Council playing political hot potato

Craig City Council members agreed Tuesday that they'd rather ask voters whether to close Russell Street than to decide the issue for themselves.

Resident's 80th birthday a success

Sales tax revenue dips; city officials optimistic

City sales tax revenue was down for the second month in a row, and city officials say there's not much to do at this point but wait.

Teen-agers not exempt from world of fad dieting

Everybody, it seems, knows at least somebody who has tried the latest weight-loss schemes like the revival of the Atkins diet or the South Beach diet.

Ladies' luncheon offers food, fellowship and fund-raising

DeAnn Gonzalez and her coworkers always attend the annual salad luncheon held by a club of local lady golfers.

Has spring sprung?

The beginning of spring this year has been the warmest ever recorded in Northwest Colorado.

Student expelled

Middle school student with history of assault not eligible to return until fall

A Craig Middle School student with a history of assault and suspensions was expelled Thursday by the school board after he allegedly choked another student unconscious with a T-shirt in the school's locker room.

Girls soccer outlasts Aspen

Bulldogs win 3-2 with overtime goal

The last 10 minutes of the Moffat County High School girls soccer game against Aspen wasn't easy for anybody in blue to watch as the Skiers poured on shot after shot.

Newly r. dorsett

Here come the terrible twos

Six months after her second birthday, Nikki is showing few signs of being struck by the terrible twos. Then again, maybe after living through Katie's extended reign of terror, I'm immune.

Craig woman urges support

Wednesday, March 24

Craig resident opens school for gymnasts

Kelly Davidson watched and learned as her daughter Heather worked her way through six skill levels of gymnastics in six years. Now she hopes to teach other youth in Craig the sport at which her daughter has excelled.

Attorneys seek plea agreement in Corral case

A Craig woman who faces six felony drug charges appeared in Moffat County District Court to enter a plea Wednesday, but lawyers on both sides asked for more time to work out a plea agreement. Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Waite and defense attorney Erick Nordstrom said they are pursuing a plea agreement that could avert a trial in the case. The case includes 10 charges, which complicates the negotiations, Waite said.

Datebook for March 25, 2004

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. USDA commodities will be distributed by the Moffat County Department of Social Services at the Dinosaur Social Services building. All households that receive commodities must be recertified each year. A picture ID, proof of address and income or current eligibility is required. For more information, call 824-8282.

Letter: Youth is a hero in our eyes

Every day, no matter where you are, you can pick up any paper and read about kids in some kind of trouble. But today is different. Today you can read about a really good kid.

Tom Walsh appointed to Colorado Transportation Commission

There's a new transportation commissioner in town. Gov. Bill Owens has appointed Tom Walsh, a Craig resident and owner of Tri-State Equipment Co., to the Colorado Transportation Co-mmission.

DOW says elk deaths not likely here

Lichens present in area, but repeat of Wyoming incident not expected

The lichen suspected of causing the deaths of 295 elk in Wyoming can be found throughout Moffat County, but Colorado Division of Wildlife officers say they aren't worried elk will start dying here. Bruce Johnston, Moffat County weed management specialist, said he has seen the light green lichen, known as Parmelia, in different locations around the county, though he couldn't pinpoint them. He said he's never seen elk eat the lichen before.

News in Brief for March 245, 2004

Tickets are available for the Yampa Valley Ladies Golf Association's 19th Annual "Lettuce Feed You" luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 2 at the Elks Hall. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased from any association member or at American Northwest Realty. Also, new Ladies Golf Association cookbooks will be available at the door.

John Lloyd Kuntz, 1924-2004

John Lloyd Kuntz of Oak Creek, Colo., died March 13, 2004 at Doak Walker Care Center. He was 79. Kuntz was born April 24, 1924 in Oak Creek, Colo., to Michael and Nona (Whitecotton) Kuntz.

Young hero helps elderly woman

12-year-old called 911 and assisted woman after fall

After taking a spill on the concrete steps outside her Barclay Street home, 81-year-old Doris Moore knew she was in bad shape. The 81-year-old Craig woman had suffered a broken kneecap and a broken arm. She was bleeding, cold and scared. She needed a hero.

Police blotter for March 25

EDP seeks funding

Partnership hopes to drive membership, donations

Members of the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership will see an increase in annual membership fees in 2005 as a result of the Partnership's attempt to increase funding and balance public and private investment in the organization.

Tuesday, March 23

Local racers top warriors in snocross series

If the winners of the youngest divisions in the Warrieor Snowcross and Freestyle circuit are any indication, the future of snowmobile racing in Northwest Colorado is bright. Both 13-year-old, Austin Corson, and 6-year-old, A.J. Stoffle, of Craig won their respective age groups in the overall point standings of the seven-race season. This is Stoffle's second year to win while Corson was a rookie on the racing scene.

Audit of Moffat County gets under way

Three months from now, Moffat County should have a better picture of what the county's financial situation will be like five years from now. Geoff Withers, an auditor with Policy Research Associates of Parker, began conducting a performance audit on Moffat County government on Tuesday, with the goal of outlining a strategy to balance the budget for the next five years.

Cyclist to be ticketed for traffic accident

Craig Police will ticket a bicyclist who caused a traffic accident on Yampa Avenue Tuesday.The 23-year-old woman ran a stop sign on Seventh Street and hit the driver's side fender of a green Saturn that was headed north on Yampa Avenue, said Craig Police Officer Tony Fandel, who responded to the incident.

Police blotter for March 24, 2004

• Jeffrey Joaquin Simmons Jr., 22, was booked into the Moffat County Jail on the charges of second-degree assault, possession of illegal weapons, menacing assault, child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Enjoy Kiwanis program for what it is

Christmas was over. Income tax was due. Not much goin' on. Folks felt sorta blue. So the Kiwanians decided now was the time. They'd liven things up a bit -- maybe earn a dime.

Our View: CSAP test provides important assessment

With the arrival of the annual Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing period, Moffat County School District students are getting some interesting offers to take the test seriously.

Councilors get crash course in economic development

EDP director: Moffat County Airport improvements could lead to business opportunities

Investing in upgrades to the Moffat County Airport is an investment in economic development Craig City Council members were told Tuesday night. But the level of that investment is not yet known.

BLM pulls plug on selling acreage for oil, gas leases

The Bureau of Land Management has suspended a controversial decision to auction off more than 45,000 acres of public land for oil and gas leases near Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah after environmental groups filed protests.

City isn't convinced

Council wants voter input on closing road for new hospital

Between a rock and a hard spot. That's how Craig Mayor Dave DeRose described the position The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees put the Craig City Council in Tuesday night when the hospital board asked for direction and support on its proposal to build a new hospital.

James M. Bowman

James M. Bowman of Craig died Saturday, March 20 in Steamboat Springs. At his request, there will be no services.

Students rally to raise CSAP scores

Educators in the Moffat County School District don't want students to do what Brandon Vigil did last year. The Moffat County High School student hastily filled in his Colorado Student Assessment Program test in about three minutes.

County's fire plan in jeopardy

Implementing the county fire management plan is one of the highest priorities of the county's Natural Resources Department.The problem is finding the manpower to do it.

Monday, March 22

Petition drives review of DOW program

The Colorado Wildlife Commission will review the Ranching for Wildlife program before it allows any new properties to join. The commission made its decision after a Craig man presented a petition urging changes to Ranching for Wildlife.

Commissioners end Maybell EMS debate

There's no assurance that people in the Maybell area will get an ambulance in case of an emergency as Maybell emergency services coordinator Karen Burley officially resigned Monday. Burley was to be out of work March 31. The Moffat County Board of Commissioners decided to cut her position during last year's budget planning for 2004.

Engagement: Hooper-LeBlanc

Mr. and Mrs. John Hooper of Mentor, Ohio, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Erin Irene, to Joshua Dean LeBlanc, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rick LeBlanc, former residents of Craig, now residing in Delta.

Police Blotter for March 23, 2004

Datebook for March 23, 2004

9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. USDA commodities will be distributed by the Moffat County Department of Social Services at the Maybell Community Center. All households that receive commodities must be recertified each year. A picture ID, proof of address and income or current eligibility is required. For more information, call 824-8282.

Resident seeks commissioners' resignations

Commissioners say claims unfounded, improper

John Watt, a Browns Park area resident, called for Moffat County commissioners to resign their posts during a commissioner's meeting Monday. On the agenda, Watt was scheduled to discuss land use issues. Instead he aired a laundry list of complaints against the commissioners.

Sunday, March 21

The fair way:

Golf Pro swings into summer, follows father's example with community vision

Chuck Cobb probably wouldn't know how to properly celebrate the Fourth of July if given the chance.

Colorado Symphony to perform in Craig

Moffat County residents get rare opportunity to sample premier music

Residents will have a rare opportunity to sample the sounds of the Colorado Symphony during a free concert the evening of Thursday, March 25.

Officials get on offensive for oil, gas debate

GRAND JUNCTION -- Driving through Garfield County, motorists pass oil well after oil well.

Ten vie for 3rd Congressional District seat

GRAND JUNCTION -- It was a sprawling candidate field for a sprawling Congressional district.

Teens impairment was not factor in accident

Cañon City police arrested a man who allegedly provided alcohol to Megan Terrill hours before the Craig teen-ager was fatally injured in a hit-and-run accident.

Bulldog baseball hits big

Moffat County outscores Summit by three

The bats of the Moffat County High School baseball team aren't experiencing any spring sluggishness.

Craig Police

Thursday, March 18

Understand what's at stake

There's a warning printed at the top of the petitions to recall Moffat County Commissioners Marianna Raftopoulos and Les Hampton. It says: "Do not sign the petition unless you have read or have had read to you the proposed recall measure in its entirety and understand its meaning."

frank john salazar

Oak Creek resident Frank John Salazar died March 8, 2004, at his home. He was 73.

Megan Terrill

Megan Terrill Funeral services for Megan Terrill will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1295 W. Ninth St., in Craig. Interment will follow in Steamboat Springs. After the service and interment, the family invites anyone who knew Megan to join family and friends at the home of Bill Terrill, 425 Riverview Ave., in Craig. There will be a candlelight remembrance Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at City Park in Craig. Candles will be provided.

Fire board adopts maintenance plan

District's fleet recently plagued with breakdowns

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board has adopted a maintenance policy in the hope of avoiding breakdowns that have recently plagued the fire district's fleet. The maintenance contract would provide bumper to tailboard inspections on the fire district's fleet of 10 vehicles. The fire district will pay Stewart and Stevenson, a Denver-based emergency vehicle maintenance company, $14,100 for the initial inspection of the vehicles. "It's something we need to do if we're going to start keeping these trucks. If we'd had this two or three years ago we might have avoided some major repairs," said Tom Cotton, fire board chairman, at the Thursday night meeting.

Program provides meals, social interaction

At the senior citizens' lunch in the Sunset Meadows cafeteria, the coffee flows freely and the dishes get passed around the table family style. On St. Patrick's Day, more than 70 seniors came to dine on corned beef and cabbage, with apple pie for dessert -- all for $2.25 a plate.

More than a handful

With 11 returning state qualifiers, team should be a force

The magnificent 11. The cheap baker's dozen. The electric 11. So there aren't really any catchy nicknames for a group of 11. Moffat County High School boys track coach Gary Tague hasn't come up with a crafty name for his 11 returning state qualifiers either, but it could have something to do with talent and expectations.

Commissioners did not attend important meeting

Commissioners did not attend important meeting To the Editor: I read your story of Moffat County's opposition to Congressman Mark Udall's RS 2477 bill with great interest (3/19/04: Officials Not Giving Up Road Claims). According to the story, Commissioner (Les) Hampton voiced his opposition via teleconference to members of Colorado Counties Incorporated (CCI). A little over a month ago, Rep. Udall came to Northwest Colorado to discuss this same bill at an event sponsored by the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley in Steamboat. Rep. Udall outlined the need for national clarification as to what routes counties could legitimately assert and what process is necessary. Although invited, no Moffat County Commissioners attended this public discussion.

Family Fight Night

Event promoted as good, clean fun

A local youth boxing club will get a boost from a "Fight Night" event that comes to town Saturday, according to the event's organizers. Promoters made a couple of adjustments to market the Fight Night as a family affair, said Michelle McKnight, who is the advertisement sales manager for Channel 27, the event's local sponsor.

Road closure blocks access to public land

Hartman Draw crosses private property, officials say

Karen McKenzie just wanted to get some prize antlers. Instead she got a trespassing ticket. For years, McKenzie said, she has hiked along Hartman Draw, north of state Highway 318, hunting for antlers. She always believed the draw was a public right of way.

Wednesday, March 17

Craig businesses lend a hand with hockey concession stand

To the Editor: As many of you are aware the Moffat County Ice Rink hosted the 2004 Bantam age group district tournament during the weekend of March 12.

Family grateful for support following sudden death

To the Editor: The family of Leonard Henderson extends heartfelt gratitude to our many friends following Leonard's sudden death. Whether you sent flowers and cards, visited or phoned to express sympathy and encouragement, made a memorial donation, or simply offered a prayer for his eternal rest, you gave us a measure of comfort that is difficult to express in words.

Franklin Henry Crow

Franklin Henry Crow died March 12, 2004, at his home. He was 69. Crow was born June 14, 1935, in Akron, Iowa to William and Lillian Crow. He was one of eight children.

Patriotic essay earns teen $200

A local student was recognized recently for writing one of the best essays in the state on the subject of patriotism. Craig Middle School eighth-grader Millie Blackstun accepted an award for her essay titled "My Dream for America" at a Veterans of Foreign Wars function last weekend. Blackstun was chosen as one of the five state finalists in the Patriot's Pen Essay offered through Colorado's VFW. She was awarded two $100 savings bonds.

Olympic 'shoe-in'

Local Special Olympian selected to go to 2005 Winter World Games

Josh Dalton couldn't wait for spring break to come. One day into the break he was ready to go back to school. The 16-year-old Special Olympics athlete found out Saturday that he had been selected to compete in the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Golf course opens early

Spring at the Yampa Valley Golf Course is a scintillating for the senses. The smell of carpet cleaner floats through the pro shop. The sound of a mower echoes near the bank of the Yampa River. The warmth of the early spring sun melts the last clumps of snow hidden in shadows. Soon the tastes of the restaurant cuisine will be available.

Behind the recall

Commissioners say transaction legal, valid

The sale of a portion of the Public Safety Center is the focal point of a campaign to recall two Moffat County commissioners, but the targeted commissioners say all parties involved in the transaction approved the sale. The recall committee, known as Concerned Taxpayers of Moffat County, claims that Moffat County erred when it sold an 11.73 percent interest in the Public Safety Center to the Colorado State Patrol, which had originally leased the space. The claim is a key plank of the recall platform.

Economic development partnership sets local business development, expansion as a priority

Some residents expect instant change on the Craig and Moffat County business scene. Others would rather take the time to define a solid framework of business goals that can be realized well into the future. Recent work done through the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership (EDP) is a mix of those two philosophies.

City officials ready suggestions for county subdivision regulations

Even though members of Craig city government complain that county subdivision regulations need improvement, only one city councilor and the city engineer have come forward with advice for updated regulations. As the regulations currently stand, a new water runoff rule is the only change that really affects the city.

Tuesday, March 16

Craig girl dies from injuries following accident

Megan Terrill never improved from critical condition after she was hit by a truck in Cañon City.

Center vandalized

Suspect arrested for breaking window at community facility

Two police officers were injured Tuesday while attempting to arrest a man suspected of vandalizing The Center of Craig.

Group fights to keep school funding

A group of Colorado parents and teachers are keeping a fixed eye on proposals in the legislature that have potential to severely limit state funds for Moffat County Schools.

Chief: PD met most objectives in 2003

Police department's community policing paying off, chief says

Community policing and officer training were two things that ranked high on the Craig Police Department's list of 2003 priorities, and they're two things department officials are proud of when they list their accomplishments for the last year.

Tri-State's $46.5M grant won't impact Craig Station

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has been approved to receive a federal loan of nearly $46.5 million, but it should have little effect on the company's Craig Station and its employees, a company spokesman said.

Eyeing experience

Girls team low on state experience but not leaders

At track practice Brandi Babin can feel the eyes on her.

Don't wait for spring cleaning

Ah, spring, when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of -- trash?

State Patrol needs to ease up

Megan Terrill

Craig police

Monday, March 15

Jailer to spend 75 days in jail

Gutierrez pleads guilty to having sex with inmate

A former jail guard will spend 75 days in jail for having sex with an inmate in the master control room of the Moffat County Jail.

Many impacted by death of longtime resident impacts many

Jack Bonaker, a well-known accountant who contributed his time and professional skills to making Craig a better place to live, died Monday morning at his home. He was 59.

Craig family hosts student from S. Korea

For the first time since the program started almost three decades ago, a local family is hosting an exchange student through the Pacific Intercultural Exchange.

Craig Police

Margaret Thompson

Navy reunion

Planning commission gives co-op boutique thumbs up

Two Craig residents passed the first hurdle in their goal to open a boutique featuring Yampa Valley crafters Monday night when the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of their application for a conditional use permit.

Woman faces 10 years after shooting boyfriend

A Craig woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for wounding her former boyfriend with a shot from a .357-caliber handgun.

Sunday, March 14

Future uncertain

Juvenile intervention team faces hefty budget cuts, program in jeopardy

A community corrections program for Moffat County youth that has received state funding for more than a decade may face deep cuts this year as legislators attempt to balance Colorado's 2004-05 budget.

Collaboration saves sheriff's department money

A collaboration among Colorado sheriffs saved Moffat County more than $16,000 in prisoner transports in 2003.

Snowpack levels remain below average

As of March 1, the Yampa Valley's snowpack was below historical average for the fourth year in a row. The shortage of snow could cause a chain of problems in agriculture, a local rancher says.

Celebrating music

Moffat County teacher still learning after lifetime of teaching

As a child, Charleah Firestone used to go with her mother to put musical knick knacks in downtown Grand Junction store fronts. Each had a sign proclaiming March as Music in Schools month.

Craig Police

Frank Crow

John Kuntz

Cougars miss championship by a hair

There was nothing the Craig Cougar bantams could do but watch as officials decided their fate in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League tournament.

Local attorney appointed to state board

Sandra Gardner, a lawyer who practices in Craig, has been appointed to a state board that helps low-income families afford legal services.

Jack Bonaker

Friday, March 12

Ranching for Wildlife

Each Saturday, local residents will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. This week's topic: Should the Ranching for Wildlife program continue in its current format, should that format be changed or should the program continue at all?

Instant buddies

Internet instant messaging option draws crowd of teen devotees

For the generation that was born when the Internet was just getting off the launch pad, the information superhighway is a mode of communication that replaces the telephone nightly.

Parents need to be involved in their child's high school planning process

What an exciting time of year! Just as our high school seniors are in the home stretch out of high school, our eigth-graders are preparing for their entry into high school! Because time flies, and poor scheduling decisions made now can quickly catch up with a student, make sure you are very much involved in your child's high school scheduling plan. Good planning now will minimize headaches down the road.

Setting goals

Young team hopes to improve on record-setting season

The experience level of the Moffat County High School girls soccer team can be summed up with one look at the goalie's gloves. They're bright white, and barely used.

4-H members working into their project season

One hundred and seventy-seven 4-H members were at the Holiday Inn March 5-7. Members from seven different counties attended the annual 4-H District Retreat. This year's theme was "4-H Making the Impossible Possible."

MCHS honor roll

To be listed on the MCHS 'High Honors' honor roll, a student must have earned a grade average for the quarter of 3.80 or higher. To be listed on the 'Honors' honor roll, a student must have earned a grade average for the quarter of 3.5 to 3.799. Grades for aide, extension classes, on-the-job training, driver's education and resource room are not considered for the honor roll.

Math counts

Numbers the focus of CMS extracurricular activity

A banner in a local classroom plays on the importance of a local school's extracurricular group. It reads: Math is strength in numbers.

Officials not giving up road claims

Commissioners resist federal RS 2477 intervention

U.S. Rep. Mark Udall didn't find support Friday among county commissioners throughout the state for his proposed bill granting Congress the power to resolve disagreements stemming from Revised Statute 2477.

Complex sheds crime-ridden image

Kris Mulay would have been happy to live just about anywhere in town when she first moved to Craig last July, on the run from a violent man.

Life in Moffat County missing from old-time politician's history

A famous politician whose career originated in Craig deserves a more complete archive, according to local researcher Kris Smith.

Church hopes to bring back 'revival' tradition

In the 1950s and '60s, traveling evangelists crisscrossed the nation by train, going from church to church to speak at revival meetings.

Organization bites into social problem

Two years ago, the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition took its first step toward recovering from financial ruin that threatened to the end the organization.

Thursday, March 11

Petition precedent

County clerk drafts resolution to prohibit circulation of petitions in courthouse

The Moffat County Commissioners have directed the county clerk to draft a resolution that would prohibit circulating petitions inside the courthouse.

How the Grinch stole Moffat County Christmas

The McClellan children are busy waiting and busing tables at their family's restaurant to save money to replace the Christmas gifts that were stolen from their post office box.

Local tourism association ahead of state

Where would Moffat County be without hunters? What would Steamboat Springs look like without its annual influx of out-of-state skiers?

Get R!EAL sets record straight

Assigning food values tricky proposition

Does getting kids to eat good foods in a non havoc-wreaking way every get any easier?

Cheerleaders set for West Coast Classic

In 2001 the Northwest Colorado Wildkat Cheerleaders made their first trip to a national competition. Members who are still on the team laugh when they think about that first routine.

Craig Police

Frank Crow

Lawsuit prompts decision about prairie dogs

Protected species status

By the end of October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must decide whether the white-tailed prairie dog deserves consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

TMH gynecologist pioneer in valley

New procedure could replace hysterectomy for some women

A new procedure to be offered in Craig will help some women avert hysterectomies and recover within days instead of months.

Wednesday, March 10

Leonard R. Henderson


Frank Salazar

Stewardship group undecided on whether to proceed

A rancher sat next to an archeologist who sat across from a number of government officials and some regular public citizens.

Courtney Lynn Vargas

Matthew Shane Jessen


Elkhead expansion plans at critical point

Signed agreements could mean difference between beginning construction in 2004 or 2005

Timing is at a crucial stage for Elkhead Reservoir expansion plans.

Suspect in hit-and-run arrested in Cañon City arrested

Police in Canon City arrested a man for a hit-and-run accident that left a Craig teen-ager in critical condition.

Officers undergo situation-control training

Men learn, practice pressure point, arrest techniques on each other

Blood stained Travis Young's cheek after he and fellow officers spent Tuesday afternoon sparring.

County road claims make state's radar

Lawmakers ask Congress to resolve RS 2477 issues before they get out of hand

The Colorado Senate has passed a resolution recommending Congress adopt legislation to resolve issues surrounding a Civil War era right-of-way law.

The committee

Individual efforts won't be the top priority for team counting on depth, summer experience

As a junior, Jason Mosher pitched a total a 6.2 innings for the Moffat County High School baseball team. This year he is considered the team's top pitcher, but he'll have a lot of help.

Thad McKee Mosbey

Abigail Rose Linner

Tuesday, March 9

Social services funds dwindling

County may have to offset shortfall

Moffat County has one of the lower social services mill levies in the state. The county may have to pay for those savings a few years from now as reserve funds dwindle, says Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos.

Lack of spills puts haz-mat team in budget bind

City agrees to kick in $6,012.50 toward deficit, will budget more

There were three hazardous material spills in the Northwest Colorado area last year -- five less than what it would take to make the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Haz-Mat team self-sufficient.

Kiwanis stunt crossed the line

John E. Miles


Craig Police

Pink singlets and ponytails

Local girls join growing numbers

Samantha Erikson has traveled all over to wrestling tournaments but she'd never seen a hot pink wrestling singlet before.

Girls golf team gets season underway

The first tournament for the Moffat County High School golf team is almost always the first time its members pla on grass. So starting slow is something the team has come to expect.

Sheriff proposes increase in part-time help to offset staffing shortage

Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead hopes several new part-time employees will fix the staffing problem at the Public Safety Center.

Member services top list of 2004 chamber goals

In 2004, the Craig Chamber of Commerce board and members have resolved to focus on their members, develop a marketing campaign, expand and improve their building, and work on small civic problems.

Twentymile should be allowed to increase its business

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will decide March 23 whether to approve a request from Twentymile Coal Co. to increase the amount of coal it hauls on 14 miles of county road between the mine and U.S Highway 40.

Monday, March 8

Teens cancel sit-in

Group opts to put opposition to smoking in writing

Craig's youth anti-tobacco group cancelled a smoke-free demonstration Monday because an editorial in the Craig Daily Press called the effort misguided, the organizer said.

Frank Salazar

Clubhouse survives 2004 cuts

County facility gets funding for rest of the year

Moffat County's Shadow Mountain Clubhouse escaped what previously seemed to be certain death thanks to the generosity of local public and private groups.

Tourism spending sees high return

When Cathy Vanatta learned that a vintage car tour wanted to make a pit stop in Craig this summer, she knew it was something that would benefit the town.

Democrats in Moffat County rare

Party labels less meaningful at local level

Although not as uncommon as an endangered species like the black-footed ferret, the Moffat County Democrat is still a rare breed.

Craig Police

Sunday, March 7

4-Hers swarm Craig for 11th annual retreat

Moffat County High school seniors Layne Behrman and Brady Haskins know how unpleasant it can be feeding their steers well before the sun rises in the dead of winter.

Few escape watchful eyes of Kiwanis

Commissioners, sheriff, newspaper take hits

The burly men in dresses stationed by the door smeared bright red lipstick across their mouths each time they smacked a kiss on an audience member's face.

Workforce center focuses on Hispanic population

For local people who only speak Spanish, April Valencia is nothing less than a godsend.

New saliva test an alternate way to pinpoint health-related problems

Nikki McLeslie brought 10 health concerns to her local homeopath, who cleared up nine of the issues after using diagnostic tools that test saliva.

Lights, camera ...

Teens get first-hand experience with cinematography during production of film

Brendan Beachman sits in front of his computer watching the screen critically.

Craig Police

'Dogs go 1-1 in Utah tournament

The Moffat County High School baseball team took its lumps to get its first win. The Bulldogs also have the bruises to prove it.

Leonard Henderson

Thursday, March 4

Police continue battle against underage drinking

Juvenile officer finds incidents not isolated

In a span of 45 minutes, a weekend drinking party involving Craig teens turned frightful. A girl who was having a good time with friends and drinking high-proof liquor ended up face down on the floor and frothing at the mouth.

Sheriff's investigator works overtime to spot teens in possession

The two teenagers in the back seat of the car were trying to hide something on the floor near their feet. During the recent traffic stop, law officers found Malibu Rum, Apple Vodka and 40-ounce bottles of beer.

Merchant: Museum admission price affecting business downtown

Declining attendance, donations spur action

The $5 fee for a family of four to enter the Museum of Northwest Colorado stopped one family in their tracks -- they had visited the museum on previous occasions and didn't expect to see the new use fee. They paid without complaint.

Anti-smoking protest is misguided

Smokers be warned.

Once a drama queen ...

Once a drama queen, always a drama queen.

Robert Bruce Blevins


Craig police

Four Bulldogs all-league

Ashlee Hafey was ready to head home from the district tournament when she got the news. The senior had been recognized as one of the top players in the Western Slope League.

No more baby steps

Preschools ready students for move up to kindergarten

Every year at about this time, the calls start coming in for East Elementary kindergarten teacher Tiffany Trevenen.

Swimmers win first home meet of season

In Friday's dual swim meet against Glenwood, Moffat County's Chris Compton was literally his own toughest competition.

Taming the wild

Locals adopt wild mustangs, train them for domestication

Patti Mosbey can't seem to get enough horses. But not just any horse will do. Mosbey is sweet on the wild ones.

"Should local officials fight wilderness designations in Moffat County."

Each Saturday, local residents will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. This week's topic: "Should local officials fight wilderness designations in Moffat County."

Ranching for Wildlife program 'vexing'

There's been a controversy slowly brewing about the Ranching for Wildlife program over the last four of five years.


The way the Western Slope League coaches voted for the 2003-04 players of the year either answers the question of what the difference is between boys and girls basketball or proves noting at all.

Leonard Henderson

Officials say allegations are unfounded

The most recent allegations of fraud by vocal Moffat County critic Jeff Taylor are unfounded, according to county contract documents.

Both sides of the fence

Wildlife Commission to hear from locals about Ranching for Wildlife issues

Ranching for Wildlife has been called a great game management tool. It's also been referred to as "poaching for wildlife."

Wednesday, March 3

Campbell ends political career

Tim Jantz, chairman of the Moffat County Republican Party, said he wasn't surprised to hear that Ben Nighthorse Campbell will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate this fall.

Eighth-grade orientation eases transition

Often times, students are excited yet nervous about coming to high school for their freshman year. uch of this anxiety can be lessened with information and a few friendly faces.

Late bloomers

Low numbers will keep swim team from scoring big until state meet

Jim Vorhies doesn't expect his boys swim team will score many points this year until May. But that's when it counts.

Road issue could set precedent

County haggles with landowner over ownership of road

In the Browns Park area, landowners and Moffat County Commissioners are fighting over "a road that leads to nowhere."

School district employee gets unexpected farewell

When a retiring janitor at East Elementary left the school after his last day, the 18-year veteran got an unexpected farewell.

LaVina Summers


County planners propose changes to subdivision regulations

New subdivisions in Moffat County will need fences, fire protection and weed management plans, according to new regulations.

DOW mails out big game brochures

Walt Farrington and his hunting buddies from Wisconsin have already sent in their applications for 2004 big game licenses. They've been looking at pictures and maps of Northwest Colorado, and they're making plans to get off work for a third-season deer hunt.

Grant to be used for education

Money will fund teen group's efforts to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault

Advocates-Crisis Support Services received an $8,000 grant to continue funding one of the agency's sexual assault prevention programs.

Tuesday, March 2

Workshop prompted by confusion over Social Security disability benefits

Coral McConnell has lived on Social Security benefits for 15 years, yet the $609 a month never seems to cover the bills.

Coca-Cola makes plans to enlarge Craig distribution center

A recent acquisition of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Vernal, Utah, means the operating facility in Craig will become a larger distribution hub. It's also a move that should create a handful of jobs in the area, officials of the new company said.

Ruling impacts county's claim on roads

A little more than a year ago, Moffat County commissioners adopted a resolution granting the county the right-of-way on all roads that traverse public lands within the county.

Craig Police

Jada Hastings

County stands to lose claim on roads

Ruling could impact potential wilderness designations

A decision by a Utah judge could act as "a stop sign" for Moffat County right-of-way claims, environmentalists say.

City awarded two lots, still fighting over price

Despite an Aug. 8 ruling that the city was entitled to two of Sandra Baird's four Stout Street lots, the fight isn't over for either side. The action that started in 2000 with the city claiming its right to eminent domain may not end until it goes to trial April 15.

Skyline sends Bulldogs off into sunset

LONGMONT -- Coach Craig Mortensen was more of a teacher than a coach in his team's last game.

MCHS students bring sweet fantasy to life

You won't need a golden ticket to attend the local high school production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Monday, March 1

Sunday Post now part of subscription

Craig Daily Press subscribers will wake up Sunday to find something new in the driveway.

Craig Police

Woman says she was 'confused' during alleged trespass

Police suspect woman was on drugs when she allegedly walked into residents home, behaved 'hysterically'

A woman who said she just knocked on the wrong door appeared in District Court Monday to face felony trespassing charges.

In love and business: Partners for more than just marriage

For the last eight years, husband and wife, J.B. and Paula Chapman have shared more than a family. They, like a number of other Craig couples, are in business together and finding that the team effort makes it work.

Robert Bruce Blevins

Legislators' top priority is budget

DENVER-- Whether the topic is natural resources, higher education or economic development, state legislators can't avoid three phrases: TABOR, Amendment 23 and Gallagher.

Man gets 8 years for long criminal history

Judge says Manley's life has been 'wasted' on criminal history with nine felony convictions

With his ninth felony, Don Manley got eight years.